Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Craft beer in cans more expensive than bottles?

Craft Beer Cans

Perhaps I haven't been paying attention lately but I was looking through my local newspaper this morning and saw an ad for craft beer in my favorite nearby liquor store. They listed the price of a New Belgium Fat Tire 12-pack in glass bottles for $12.99. Right below that listing they also printed the price of a 12-pack of New Belgium Fat Tire beer in cans. The price? $13.99. What gives?!

Rant on.

For years, a few well known craft brewers in this state have been touting the advantages of putting their craft beer in cans. They claimed that cans are more portable, cans are better for the environment and they weigh much less than bottles so the distribution costs would be lower. But in reality, certain stores are charging more for the same beer in cans. Excuse me?

I don't get it. Why would we be charged an extra $1 per 12-pack for the same amount of beer? Aren't cans supposed to be more compact than bottles? Aren't cans supposed to be cheaper to distribute than glass bottles? Can't liquor store owners fit more beer in a cooler in cans than they could with bottles? Given a choice wouldn't more people prefer cans over bottles?

So why is it that some liquor stores are now charging more for a 12-pack of craft beer in cans? Perhaps it was a major typo in the newspaper ad. I don't think so. I'd hate to think that we are paying more for what liquor store owners believe is a novelty. This stinks in my opinion. It counteracts the whole reason for going to cans in the first place.

To quote a famous movie (Network): "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!"

Does this tick off any of you as it does me? Which do you prefer your beer in? Would you knowingly pay an extra buck for a 12-pack in cans if you could grab the same beer in bottles for less?

Tell me if I'm missing the point here but if the trend here is to charge more for cans I'm not sure I want to buy my craft beer in cans in the future. Come on brewers and store owners. Charge the same for the same quantity. I'm not willing to pay more just because of smaller lighter weight packaging. Get real.

Rant off.

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